Equipment Operator Constructionman Mark Teri Bascon of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 operates a skid-steer Jan. 25 to move earth and fill around a construction site the Aplaya Elementary School. (U.S. Navy photo by Construction Electrician Constructionman Quennie May Bumatay)

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines - Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 5 are renovating a building for the Aplaya Elementary School as part of a Construction Civic Activity Detail (CCAD) in Barangay Tagburos, Puerto Princessa City, Palawan.

In its current state the 24 feet by 56 feet two-room masonry building has wood and plant-woven walls with a bare dirt floor. This project will greatly improve the building by installing prefabricated steel trusses, concrete columns, a corrugated metal roof, gutters, metal doors and a hardiflex drop ceiling. The detail will also stucco and paint the structure's exterior to match the other existing buildings at the school.

According to school Principal Macaria Peloto Camacho, the finished project will have a significant impact to the neighborhood particularly to the 651 students and 20 teachers who attend and work at the school.

"The construction of new classrooms will greatly benefit the students, teachers and the entire neighborhood," said Principal Camacho. She said that the school currently does not have enough classrooms to accommodate all of the students. "We have to divide the classes into morning and afternoon session in order to have room for all the children in the neighborhood," she said.

"I am very grateful for all the work that the U.S. military has been doing for us. It is indeed a blessing for this community." said Jovelyn Mulato, one of the school's third grade teachers.

Seabees conduct CCAD operations like this one in order to demonstrate U.S. commitment, develop enduring relationships, improve public infrastructure for the delivery of essential services, and strengthen local institutions with host and partner nations around the world.

Commanded by Cmdr. Peter Maculan, NMCB 5 is home ported in Port Hueneme, California and is currently deployed to multiple sites throughout the U.S. Pacific Fleet area of operations.